DUI and Drug Possession

  • May 26, 2017

    DUI charges and drug crimes are on the increase in Los Angeles. A charge like this can dramatically impact your life. You can lose valuable time from your family and job, and you may face prison time. When a person is arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they can also be arrested for other criminal offenses. It all depends on the circumstances of the arrest. If a driver has drugs in the vehicle or on their person, then they can also be charged with drug possession and other drug crimes.

    Drugs Found During A DUI Arrest

    All officers ask suspected drivers if they are using drugs or drinking alcohol during the traffic stop. If they notice any signs of such behaviors, or the driver admits to the use of these substances, the driver will be asked about any drugs in their possession. The defendant will be searched as well as their vehicle. They may or may not bring in the drug dogs to aid in the search.

    If drugs are found in the car or on their person, then charges will be filed. According to the California Penal Code Section 1538.5 PC, there must be probable cause to search the vehicle. If there was no such cause, then a Los Angeles DUI Attorney can file a motion to suppress. If the motion is granted, then it is likely that the prosecution would not be able to proceed. The charges would be dismissed.

    Probable Drug Charges

    Most drug possession cases were classified as felonies in the state of California in previous days. However, due to Proposition 47, most felony drug possession charges have been reduced to misdemeanors, with some having the option of being charged as either. Any driver that has drugs on them will be charged with possession of a controlled substance. This is a direct violation of the California Health and Safety Code Section 11350(a). Methamphetamines fall under the Safety Code Section 11377(a).

    When an officer believes that the driver had intentions of selling the drugs, the driver can be charged with possession with the intent to sell. This “wobbler” offense falls under the California Health and Safety Code Section 11351 HSC or Section 11378 HSC. The charges can be filed as either a felony or a misdemeanor.

    If drugs are found in the vehicle, then the defendant may face charges of Safety Code Section 11352 HSC or 11379 HSC. This gives the prosecution ammunition to proceed under the theory that the defendant was transporting drugs. Those who are convicted of this charge can face prison time.

    Defending A DUI and Drug Possession Charge

    Searching a vehicle may be challenged in court. Most Los Angeles DUI Lawyers will file a motion to suppress the evidence. This is according to California Penal Code Section 1538.5 PC. The reason for stopping the vehicle may be challenged as unconstitutional. If the motion is granted, then all the evidence regarding drugs would be suppressed. The prosecution would most likely dismiss any charges as they would be unable to proceed with the drug possession charges or a DUI.

    The drugs found in the car may be a passenger’s and not that of the driver. The prosecution will try to prove that the driver knew about the drugs, but it is a difficult task. Those that have been charged with a DUI or drug offense need a Los Angeles DUI Attorney on their side. Having the right representation could be the difference between probation and jail time. If you can’t take a chance like that, then you need to call today for a consultation.

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